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Stephen Hackett's blog about things that light up and make noise. 512 Pixels is about Apple, technology, journalism and design.

On Superpowers

Thomas Brand:

Most people have a mix of natural abilities, but the gifts we call superpowers often are tempered through training and experience. That is the case for me. My superpowers come as the result of a disease. I am legally blind. […] When it comes to superpowers I am gifted. I have three. LHON might have taken some of my vision, but in return it left me with heightened abilities I would easily trade for the chance to drive a car, or read a classroom blackboard.

Thomas lists his excellent memory, hearing and an ease with public speaking as the powers he’s been granted from battling with his vision. Having spent a good amount of time with Thomas on two occasions, I can say that he is spot-on with his self-assessment.

I couldn’t help but think of my son Josiah reading Thomas’ article this evening.

When Josiah was diagnosed with brain cancer, the doctors told us that he may be blind in one eye, and probably would never walk or use his left arm.

While his vision is impaired slightly (it’s easy to sneak up on him due to his lack of peripheral vision on the left side), he spends his days running up and down the hallway in our house, laughing and singing with his little sister, with just a hint of a limp. While his left arm (and especially hand) are weak, through years of physical and occupational therapy, he’s gained lots of movement and strength.

What Josiah may lack he makes up for in attitude and spirit. He’s kind, funny and out-going. He wants to be in your lap if you’re sitting down, but won’t be content until he’s made you laugh.

I don’t know if Josiah will ever be able to drive or play basketball or swim. But I don’t care, because he — like Thomas — is a super hero.